A Guide to Buying and Selling Commercial Property

Buying and selling property of any kind can seem lik

Buying and selling property of any kind can seem like a bit of minefield to navigate. If it is for commercial purposes, however, the process can be even more complicated – since there are a whole host of additional processes and procedures that you will need to follow. This makes it extremely important that each step is completed accurately.

Commercial property can be defined as a building from which you will run your business or an investment property that is currently let to another company/private tenant. Whatever your reasons for buying and selling commercial property, it is essential to obtain professional advice from the outset to ensure that everything is taken care of.

Buying Commercial Property

antique cash register

When you are looking to purchase commercial property, carrying out proper due diligence is essential. There are many different points to consider, so you will want to be completely sure that you are following every procedure to the letter.

Before you begin, you will need to ascertain exactly what you want from the property. It may seem obvious, but it is essential that you have a clear idea of what the premises will be used for. Certain properties will be more suitable for specific requirements, while others might have limitations on the activities you are able to carry out there.

Having a clear plan about what the property will be used for can save you a lot of time and money further down the line. Far too many investors will be swayed when they see a potential bargain and dive straight in before they have a clear plan of what they want to do with it. While there is a small chance that this gamble may pay off, more often than not it will result in money being lost. 

The second step to buying commercial property is deciding whether or not it suits your particular requirements. To do this, there are a number of points you should consider, such as:

  • Does it let you conduct the type of business you want?
  • Is there room for expansion further down the line?
  • Are there good transport links?
  • Can you sublet the premises?
  • If you need walk-by traffic, does this provide it?
  • Is parking available?

Once you have determined that your chosen property is suitable for your needs, your next step will be to consider your finances. It is essential that you set a budget and stick to it, so you can avoid having to potentially borrow more money than you can afford further down the line.
There are several costs that you will need to consider, including Stamp Duty Land Tax, professional fees and, of course, your mortgage payments. You should also take into account any renovation or construction charges, alongside maintenance costs like waste management, utilities and general operational costs. 

Successfully planning your budget also involves calculating your potential return on investment (ROI). Identify how much will be comfortable for you and work out whether or not it will be achievable. If it is not, then you should perhaps reconsider your purchase. 

Why Seek Professional Advice When Buying Commercial Property

Obtaining advice from a specialist solicitor from the outset means that you will drastically reduce the risk of running into nasty surprises that could derail the entire process. Your solicitor will be able to guide you through every stage, from title investigations and raising enquiries to contract exchanges and registration.

Your legal representative will also help you with conducting all the necessary surveys and ensure that everything is completed as it should be – potentially saving you a lot of time and money. 

Selling Commercial Property

businessman offering handshake

If you are looking to sell commercial property, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes preparations that you will need to undertake. It is highly recommended that you seek professional advice from a solicitor to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork and everything is taken care of. Your representative will also help you decide which method of sale is more suitable for your circumstances – such as via auction or through a commercial property agent.

Your premises should also be prepared for sale, ensuring that everything is in working order, while you will be required to provide several pieces of information to potential buyers. The types of documentation you need includes commercial planning use classes, a Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), business rates details and any other charges the buyer will be responsible for. 

The first thing you will need to consider when selling commercial property is maintaining constant communication with potential buyers. This is extremely necessary when drawing up Heads of Terms and providing documentation like asbestos survey results and the EPC.

Once the Heads of Terms have been agreed, your solicitor will obtain your title documentation from the Land Registry Office. You should also expect to receive communications from the buyer’s representatives, such as questions relating to Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs) and due diligence. 

With due diligence complete, you will need to ensure that all relevant documentation is agreed and signed – including the terms of sale contract and transfer deed. Your buyer will then need to put down a deposit of 10% to ensure the sale can progress. Once the exchange has taken place, a completion date is then set and your contract becomes legally binding. When the sale has been completed, your mortgage will be discharged and you can hand over the keys for the property over to the buyer.

Why Work With Shams Williams 

hand drawn lightbulbs

If you are interested in buying and selling commercial property, you can rely on Shams Williams to help. Our specialist solicitors are available to assist you right the way through the process and ensure that all your obligations are taken care of. 

Shams Williams has amassed a wealth of experience in dealing with all kinds of commercial property transactions, whether it is a warehouse, factory, office building or land that will be developed for commercial purposes. Our specialists are completely in-tune with all the complexities or the market, while our clients have found our assistance to be invaluable when trying to navigate the world of buying and selling commercial property.


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